Judgmental dog owners

People, chill.

 I recently adopted a dog, after going almost 15 years dogless. I'm surprised at how openly judgmental American dog owner culture has become. What a bunch of finger-wagging fussbudgets dog owners can be!

Of course, not everyone who owns a dog is a patronizing jerk. The same way that not everyone who has a child is a sanctimommy. But boy, do the exceptions stand out.

Last weekend I got chastised by someone at the park for having my dog ON a leash. This dude (who had clearly watched way too many episodes of The Dog Whisperer) informed me that it causes leash aggression. Well, that's not a problem that my dog has, but maybe you should put YOUR dog on a leash and walk the heck away from me. I might be coming down with a case of leash aggression, myself.

No matter what you feed your dog, how you train your dog, how you groom your dog, which toys you buy for your dog - to these people, it's all wrong. And they will swiftly inform you of your "mistake" in no uncertain terms.

Here's a tip for all judgmental dog owners: Stick to your own business!

It's particularly ironic because what we love most about dogs is their silent acceptance of us and all our flaws, and their complete lack of judgment. 

Cheap pastor has Applebee’s worker fired

Love thy neighbor… unless they call you out on being a cheapskate.

When you go to a restaurant and feel like being a cheapskate who doesn’t tip, fine.  Do what you will and screw the waiter or waitress that has to take it out of their paycheck.  If you can live with the guilt then it’s your right to be an evil, greedy bastard. 

And when you then try to drag religion into it, claiming that you give money to God and therefore have the right to ignore other human beings?  Well, then you’re being a hypocrite.  But I guess that’s within your rights as well, so more power to you.  What really takes the cake is when, after you’re called out on your self-serving, hypocritical ways, you take the matter in hand and have someone fired over it.  That is about an un-Christian as you can get, hurt feelings or otherwise.

That’s the case with a pastor who, instead of leaving a tip for her waitress, decided to leave a rude note saying “I give God 10 percent, why should you get 18?”  The waitress, probably well used to people stiffing her on tips, kept the receipt and posted it online.  Her intention, according to her, was not malicious.  She simply thought it was hilarious that someone would write something like that and then have the balls to sign it as “Pastor.”

And so the word got around and eventually the cheapskate pastor found out and contacted Applebee's.  After expressing her displeasure, the restaurant chain reacted by having the waitress fired.  Wow.  Way to go God and Corporate America tag-team combo.

If you’re going to claim that you’re doing the Lord’s work, you need to remember some very basic principles of the Bible.  One, be kind to your fellow human beings.  This means not being a rude bitch because you’re too cheap to tip.  Two, this also means turning the other cheek.  If you feel that you were insulted by someone, you do not go out and seek vengeance.  This is supposedly the time of Jesus, not the old fire-and-brimstone God that preferred to kill people when they pissed him off.

But most of all, don’t try to pretend you’re in the right when you’re obviously being a jerk.  I thank the gods (all of them) daily for the Internet and the fact that people like this are exposed.  No longer can the hypocrites hide behind anonymity and feel free to commit cruel acts one day and then preach the word of peace the next.

Republican prays for President’s death

New Biblical-vengeance political tactic proves unsound for Mike O’Neal

While browsing through my lengthy and sometimes incomprehensible Facebook news feed, I came across a link that had me both dropping my jaw and laughing my ass off at the same time.  Apparently, a politician by the name of Mike O’Neal (Republican) just got himself into a world of political pain by sending out an e-mail to his fellow Republicans.  What did the e-mail say?  Well, it urged his fellow officials to join him in a prayer for President Obama’s death.

Wow. WTF? Seriously?  Yes, seriously.  The guy hates the president so much that he’s willing to stand his ground and go directly to the big guy in the sky.  “Hey, God?  Mind killing off someone I don’t like because I don’t like them?”  Somehow I don’t think Mr. Jesus would be too agreeable with this one.

To be more precise, he asked those who received his e-mail to silently recite Psalm 109 from the Bible, which goes like this:

'When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.
Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labor.
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children.'

And this is the reason I tend to avoid those who are too invested in that dusty old book.  Everything I learned says that Jesus is supposed to be a nice guy and wants people to be all peaceful and stuff.  Hell, I went to a Christian school until I was 11 and don’t remember learning anything about the best ways to level your enemies in politics.  I certainly never realized that praying to God for insta-death was an effective way to gain the upper hand on Capitol Hill.

For a politician to do something like this is not only idiotic, it’s also seriously bad form.  Politics is a contest, but keep your bloodthirsty thoughts to yourself.  Just because you lost doesn’t mean to get to go around recruiting people to do voodoo chants against your enemy. 

What’s more (and what makes me laugh so much over this), the e-mail is potentially treasonous.  Wishing the death of the U.S. President and asking others to join in isn’t exactly an American thing to do.  Of course, he’ll get a slap on the hand and a kick in the teeth of his career, but jail time is unlikely.

Let this be a lesson to future Biblical politicians - separate your religion and your politics, just like the good old constitution says.  Either that, or at least exercise even the slightest bit of self-control to avoid looking like such an ass.

Internet trolls, leave me alone!

Do these people have nothing better to do with their time?

Due to the rise of the Internet, there’s a whole new breed of people out there.  I’m sure they were lurking somewhere before cyberspace came about, but now they have a name and, if you can figure it out, a purpose as well.  They’re the damn Internet trolls and they are absolutely one of the worst plagues that humanity has ever seen.

Personally, I watch a lot of YouTube.  Yeah, I’m a video junkie and proud of it.  But no matter how much I watch, I am still astounded by the sheer number of people who will go out of their way to leave the most insulting or idiotic comments on people’s videos.  Worse yet, you’ll find the same people leaving crappy comments across a whole series of videos!  Someone actually took the time to watch half-a-dozen videos and made sure to point out exactly how much they hated each and every one of them.

Wow.  That just blows me away.  I mean, who wastes their time watching something they know they’re not going to like, simply for the sake of telling someone how much they didn’t like it?  Why torture yourself with “the worst video ever” and then move on to see if the next is even worse than that?  Are you bored?  Do you need an ego boost and insulting people’s hard word is like a quick fix to you?

I can understand if something is political or opinion-based.  People love to talk politics and even if they’re not smart enough to do it with any degree of clarity, they’ll still post away about how they’re right and someone else is wrong.  These people do not confuse me, for I have met them in real life.  I have learned to pity their uneducated ways.  But when it’s something like a video game playthrough, it loses any semblance of purpose to throw insults around.

Luckily, we the fans unite against the army of small-minded trolls.  When a trollish comment is spied, those who enjoy the work will often retaliate en masse.  And, naturally, they’re usually quite a bit smarter than the average troll, so it can be quite entertaining to watch.

Still, trolls need to find another hobby.  Being annoying should not be a life’s goal unless you plan on going into comedy or politics.  Please, return to school and learn how to speak like a grown-up and then come back and see us when you can form words into sentences.

End of the world hype

For thousands of years, the end has been nigh and people have been freaking out about it.

For as long as I have lived on this planet, I can remember someone or another screaming that the end of the world was just around the corner.  There’s been the Y2K scare, numerous little generic religious folks with brainwashed congregations and the most recently, of course, was the whole Mayan calendar thing.  And, as always, we are still here after the 21st of December has come and gone.

When are people going to get tired of trying to predict the time when everyone will be dead?  Is there some sort of deep need within the hearts and souls of humanity to figure out the date of not only our own demise, but the demise of the rest of our fellow man?  Is there a kind of comfort that comes from knowing that your miserable life will be over soon and you won’t have to deal with all the crap that it feeds you?

Anyone who’s read a damn book knows that people have been claiming that everything is going to end since the beginning of recorded history.  They started with simple signs, such as a volcano making strange sounds or a particularly odd weather pattern.  Then it moved on to religious reasons.  God has it in for us and he’s just waiting for a chance to do us all in.  Now that science has taken root, we still get the crazies holding on to things from the past.  Seemingly, if it’s been around for at least a thousand years, it’s reliable by default!  Go Mayan calendar!  Go Biblical end times!

I don’t care if you’re religious and believe there’s supposed to be some all-consuming apocalypse.  Read the Bible and tell me that God wants you to sit around and wait to die.  Doesn’t he say something about men not knowing the mind of God?  How self-defeating is that?  If there is an end of the world, it’ll sneak up on you and you’ll never see it coming.  Just relax and do your stuff and stop freaking out.

One good thing does result from all this apocalyptic nonsense, however.  People come up with some pretty cool ideas for movies and books.  If we can make it destroy the world, there’s been an artistic project about it.  But please, keep the invisible monsters in Hollywood and stop dragging them through the streets like you actually know what you’re talking about.

Woman Throws Cats into River

What the hell is wrong with people?

 

I recently came across a bit of news that pissed me off to no end.  Some Persian cat breeder in the city of Springfield, Oregon was busted for stuffing two of her cats into a bag and throwing them into the river to drown.  Luckily, the bag caught on a tree branch and some city workers were able to find and rescue them.  But despite the fact that the cats came out unharmed, I have to wonder at what kind of person you have to be to think it’s okay to drown an animal?

It’s not even like kicking them out of the house, abandoning them to live on the streets.  Although less than savory, at least they have a chance on their own, no matter how pampered they were in their domestic life.  But to breed an animal (which is in-and-of-itself a screwed up thing, giving them horrible genes that make them prone to sickness) and then toss it into the river when it’s no longer wanted?

Unfortunately, the news articles I looked at didn’t say anything about why the woman decided to do this.  What was her excuse for killing, in a very cruel way, a couple of cats that were guilty of nothing other than being under her care?  She’s a breeder, so maybe these animals were defective in some way?  Perhaps they had bad attitudes that made them unsalable and thus unprofitable?  Or maybe she just decided that she had too many and that drowning a few wasn’t going to hurt anyone?

Whatever her reasons, it’s complete crap.  If you can’t take responsibility for something that you’ve brought into the world and then put into a position where it has to rely on you, you should avoid getting involved in that responsibility.  This sort of behavior is nothing short of borderline sociopathic.  I wonder what said lady would have done if she had too many children.  Would they have ended up in the river as well?  Or perhaps a nice, cozy dumpster?

What makes it personal for me is that I’ve seen similar things during my time volunteering for the humane society.  People get animals and then later decide they don’t want them, so they bring them to the pound to be adopted or, as is more common, put to sleep.  A lot of times this has little to do with their ability to care for the animal and more to do with the fact that the critter was cute and tiny as a baby but since it’s grown up they find it to be more of a pain in their ass.  Fkn’ people.

Human beings need to stop looking at animals as disposable things and stop acting like children when it comes to taking care of them.  Actually, children are usually better at that responsibility and more loving than adults are, so I guess that statement is wrong.  Every time I hear about someone doing something like this, it just reminds me of how many lazy, self-centered idiots there are in the world.  No wonder crap’s so messed up.  How are people supposed to care for their fellow human beings if they can’t even figure out how to care for a pet?

Six-cheese lasagna

Have we crossed the line into the realm of too much cheese?

Often I head down to my local store and, being the lazy bastard that I am, walk myself to the frozen food isle in an attempt to find something that looks tasty while not being so expensive as to break the bank.  Luckily for me, the store I go to usually has a giant frozen lasagna on sale at a reasonable price. 

These things are huge, so much so that I can literally devour their cheesy goodness for three days and need spend no more than the ten bucks for the single meal, a few hours prepping it and the occasional five-minute microwave wait to reheat it when the next day arrives.  These lasagna dishes that I consume are of the “five cheese” variety, featuring more than enough cheese to satisfy virtually anyone.  So when I strolled through that magical frozen food isle and spotted a “six cheese” lasagna, what was I to think?

 

Six cheeses?!  That is even better than five, right?  I mean, it’s one more cheese so it has to be better!  At least that was how I thought when I first discovered this strange and exotic marvel.  Now, since I have had time to think about more, I wonder if perhaps the world should have stopped at five.

Is that sixth cheese really the thing that will make lasagna so much better?  Or does it transform that perfect frozen gourmet experience into something vile and unclean?  Does the presence of a sixth dairy marvel push the boundaries of cheese enjoyment too far for human beings on this planet Earth?  Is it nothing more than an abomination, damned in the eyes of God?

Now I am torn.  I want the sixth cheese, but I can’t help but feel I am either being roped into spending more by some clever marketing department or that I will push myself beyond the cheese limit and thus imperil my health and sanity.  So much cheese… so many decisions to make that could have far-reaching repercussions.  Is this all some plot by a secret organization to constipate the people of the United States?

So for the present I will avoid a sixth cheese in my frozen lasagna ritual.  I will content myself to five of them and try to resist the temptation to cross that potentially hazardous line.  One of these days, however, I know I will cave in to temptation and spend the extra two bucks to get that sixth cheese.  How it will affect me, only God knows.  And if it does not fare well, I may see him face-to-face following my foray into “the sixth.”

Sexual harassment in my scene

When the scene gets bigger, the jerks start to filter in and screw it up.

It’s a problem that every growing trend has to face at one time or another - when the assholes start showing up.  For me personally, that involves the comic convention scene.  Now that movies like The Avengers and Iron Man are hugely popular, every two-bit geek wanna-be is trying to dress up in a tin-foil costume and head down to their local con. 

This means that the rest of us have to deal with new problems, or perhaps old problems that used to be diverted through strength of numbers.  One of the biggest issues happens to involve girls in sexy cosplay being harassed by men with small brains (usually located in their penises) and no ability to discern respectful human boundaries.

The women that have grown up as nerds and suffered persecution in many aspects of their lives go to conventions to get away from the problems of the real world.  They dress up in these costumes (yes, often sexy ones) to take on a different persona for a while. 

This makes them feel comfortable and sometimes even gives them the power to express their own sexuality.  Don’t misinterpret - this is not the only reason that girls cosplay, but it is one reason.  But regardless of whatever those reasons are, they certainly don’t need jerk-wads trying to grope them or making lewd comments.

If the convention scene is allowed to continue in this fashion, then the security of being among our fellow geeks will cease to hold the same meaning that it has for all these years.  It will become little more than a glorified frat party filled with idiots and the geeks who are too gullible to fight against the rising tide.  These pricks are ruining my scene and I’m mad as hell about it.

So if you happen to go to conventions, remember to have the backs of your fellow geeks, especially the ladies who are there portraying many of the characters you love.  If you see someone who is out of line, make sure to get in their face the make them aware that what they are doing is unacceptable and that people like them are not welcome in our space.  If we don’t defend our world, who will?

Forced inclusion of minorities in stories

Is it really better to cater to a minority, rather than let them appear in a story as an organic character?

Personally, I am a Walking Dead fan.  I am even doing a weekly review on the new season, I love it so much.  But recently the show has attracted some controversy because of a decision that the writers made to change certain characters when adopting the series from comic book to television format. 

One person in particular was putting up quite a fuss because two of the characters that appeared in last week’s episode were, in the comic, gay.  Well, to be more precise, one was the prison bitch of the other.  When writing the television version, however, this sexual trait was omitted.  The blog-person is crying foul, saying that those in charge of the show are insensitive to the LGBT population.

If you haven’t seen the episode, it basically goes like this:  The main group of survivors is taking over a prison.  While clearing it out of zombies, they run into five prisoners that have been stuck there for the last 10 months.  The leader of the criminal group has a prison bitch.  This information is expressed in the comic, but not in the show.  Neither of these characters has more than 20 minutes of screen time before they are both brutally killed.

Now how are the writers supposed to approach the subject of their sexuality in 20 minutes, most of that time filled with zombie-killing action?  And what would be the point since they’re just going to die off anyways?

To mention the fact that they happen to be gay lovers seems like a pointless waste of time.  Worse yet, it feels like it would be pandering.  If the executives in charge decided to leave this small fact in, it would be more akin to pointing them out and saying “Hey, look LGBT crowd who watch our show!  Those are gay people!”  And then boom, they’re dead.  I have to wonder if people would have complained more if they would have been left in, instead choosing to bitch about the only two “gay” characters being slaughtered so fast.

In the end, it’s just idiotic for people to be raving about such a small thing.  The needs of the show prevail when it comes to writing decisions.  It’s not like a major character was blatantly switched to hetero because someone didn’t want gay people to be in the show.  In fact, there are two other characters that show up later that do happen to be gay, and I’m guessing those two will be left in simply because they play a bigger role in the story.

People need to chill and figure out which battles are actually worth fighting.  If you’re gonna bitch about something like this, you only undermine the credibility of the LGBT community when they decide to fight for something that is actually important.  So please shut up and sit down and stop harassing the writers because they made a decision for the sake of a 42-minute time frame.  Don’t ask them to shoehorn in some sort of “token gay guy” so you can feel better about yourself

Unavailable

When the one you want is not within your reach

 

Finding someone you connect with in this world is hard enough without complications.  It used to be that the one you would marry (and eventually grow to love) was some lady that was arranged for you by your parents.  Things were simpler then, if not necessarily romantic.  As the world developed and different people came closer together, this changed.  Transportation got quicker and more efficient, communication became more and more instantaneous and the people of Earth are now able to meet from the comfort of their living rooms via the Internet.  Which leads me to the point of this post - what does one do when they meet someone they like that happens to be thousands of miles away?

When you’re an oddball like myself, the ladies you meet frequently don’t relate to you the way you’d like them to.  When you do meet someone who kicks ass, they’re usually already taken, given the small number of them that exist in the world at any given time (I think there’s a production limit or something).  And so comes the Internet and random chatting.  I’m not normally a big chatter online, but sometimes one thing or another draws me into a conversation with someone.

Recently, I started chatting with a lady who is about as close to my ideal mate as could possibly be without having a ton of money and wanting to take care of me while I write my great novel.  Of course, it didn’t take long for the revelation to set in.  Revelation one - thousands of miles away.  Revelation two - decidedly not single.  Ah yes, the story of my life replays in loops, so it seems.

So the question remains - does all this mass communication help us or hinder us when it comes to finding a significant someone and bringing them into our lives?  Does the wider availability and increased access give more options?  Does it encourage us to sit on our butts and not go outside because we have other ways of socializing now?  Is it just one giant tease, screwing with our heads until we rage and throw stuffed animals across the room (not based on actual events)?

Whatever the answer, the situation sucks.  The people you meet linger, regardless of the reality of the situation, and I frequently finding myself saying “What if…?” or comparing others that I meet in more conventional ways to said individual, which is a bit unfair, of course.  Perhaps one day we’ll be able to clone people and the worries of socially awkward geeks will be gone forever.  Meet someone who’s taken?  Clone them and get a copy for yourself!  Too far away?  Get a DNA sample and build one at the local corner liquor store and clone-o-mat!

It may never end up happening that way, but one can always hope.  In the meanwhile, I’ll drown my sorrows in video games and writing.

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